I hate to even bring up high school—many of us are so far off from it. But it's worth reading an article, "English, Algebra, Phys Ed ... and Biotech," in the Sunday Times that features a science teacher at Lincoln High School. It talks about a biotechnology course he started about 10 years ago. It's a perfect example of the outstanding programs you can find in San Francisco's public schools. And before you know it, we'll all be looking for high schools.
Here's the lead into the article by G. PASCAL ZACHARY:
"MORE than a decade ago, after George Cachianes, a former researcher at Genentech, decided to become a teacher, he started a biotechnology course at Lincoln High School in San Francisco. He saw the class as way of marrying basic biotechnology principles with modern lab practices — and insights into how business harvests biotech innovations for profit.
If you’re interested in seeing the future of biotechnology education, you might want to visit one of George Cachianes’s classrooms. “Students are motivated by understanding the relationships between research, creativity and making money,” he says.
Lincoln has five biotech classes, each with about 30 students. Four other public high schools in San Francisco offer the course, drawing on Mr. Cachianes’s syllabus. Mr. Cachianes, who still teaches at Lincoln, divides his classes into teams of five students; each team “adopts” an actual biotech company.
The students write annual reports, correspond with company officials and learn about products in the pipeline. Students also learn the latest lab techniques. They cut DNA. And recombine it. They transfer jellyfish genes into bacteria. They purify proteins. They even sequence their own cheek-cell DNA.
Cool, eh? And very, very important."
To read the full story click on "English, Algebra, Phys Ed ... and Biotech."